Stop and fix Universal Credit – join us in Essex on 2nd December

On this coming Saturday, 2nd December, Unite Community members and supporters will be in Clacton, Colchester and Waltham Abbey campaigning around the problems with Universal Credit and calling on the government to stop and fix the scheme before it goes any further Universal Credit should, in theory, be a good idea – bringing numerous different payments together to make it easier to apply and administer – but in practice it's not working out like that

Families have to wait up to 5 weeks for the first payment, payments are made monthly and, given the lower amounts of money involved, that makes it extremely difficult to budget Rent goes to the claimant rather than direct to the landlord, something which has seen councils and private landlords face increasing rent arrears For example Croydon Council say that their collection rates have fallen from ninety-one percent to fifty-nine percent for Universal Credit claimants – that's bad news for the claimants and the landlord alike For the first time ever people in work can face being sanctioned – as in having their benefits cut – if they can't prove to the Jobcentre that they're looking for work with more hours or better pay That means that working people could be sanctioned for having the audacity to be low paid

Obviously if they have to look for different jobs that will pull them away from their support networks and their colleagues and friends at work and it will also leave employers having to face the bill for finding replacements and training them up Fuel poverty, food poverty and the threat of eviction and the inevitable resulting impact on mental and physical health are putting extra strain on our public services, particularly health care Evictions increasing is putting strain on housing supply We've seen massive increases in homelessness already over the last few years – these changes to Universal Credit aren't going to help at all Most importantly the issues with Universal Credit have an effect on people's lives – not just our services – their lives

This has made even worse by the tone and the processes of Universal Credit which seem to be aimed mainly at belittling and intimidating and accusing people They insist on calling claimants customers but if any private sector company treated their customers like that they wouldn't be around for very long Join unite community activists in Clacton, Colchester and Waltham Abbey if you can this Saturday if you can't please have a look at our Essex branch website for more details of how you can get involved We've got Twitter hashtags for the day stop and fix and fix universal credit Please get involved on Saturday if you can

Thank you very much

Source: Youtube

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